It has been a month since Ohio State announced that Jim Foster would not be returning as coach of the women’s basketball team and the OSU athletic department has been busy searching for a new coach.
When the announcement of Foster’s firing was made, OSU said that they expected to be in the Final Four every few years, clearly setting a high bar for the program in the upcoming seasons. Considering the fact that Ohio State has only ever made one Final Four, this would seem a bit unrealistic but with the resources of OSU and the talent produced in Ohio and elsewhere in the Midwest, it is a very achievable goal.
However, to meet this goal OSU will need to find a coach that can properly take advantage of these resources and lead the program to the next level.
While women’s basketball coaching searches aren’t followed as closely as those for football and men’s basketball, some bits of information has slipped out over recent weeks. The first bit of news was that current South Carolina coach Dawn Staley had withdrawn her name from consideration for the OSU job. Staley has South Carolina on the rise and over her tenure the Gamecocks have gone from being a non-factor in the SEC to finishing ranked in the top 20 this season. Despite this improvement, South Carolina hasn’t had success in the NCAA tournament and that is obviously an important criterion for Ohio State. The most upsetting part of Staley’s announcement is the potential implication that OSU isn’t being perceived as the top tier job that it should be.
Today’s soundtrack is brought to you by 70 degrees and sunny skies in Los Angeles. Oh, and a little bit of EW&F.
Right about now, you’re either getting ready to sit down for an awkward family dinner with that weird uncle, or you’ve already eaten and are letting the tryptophan course through your body… Ah, the Holidays.
Here at tBBC we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the highs and lows from the past year, which will give me just enough time to snag that last piece of sweet potato pie while everyone is reminiscing.
Janelle: Coach Meyer. We knew that the Buckeyes would be better this season, but undefeated going into TSUN week? That far and away exceeded expectations. We knew it was possible, but after last season, I don’t think anyone was sure what would happen this year. He has rallied the troops and gotten them to play with so much heart and intensity. It has truly been fun to watch.
WVa: Braxton and Coach Meyer. In a season that the expectation was that the Buckeyes just be more competitive than last year, they have excelled because of these two. I am thankful for the relationship that they have forged as they lead the Buckeyes. The next two seasons will be very special because the Buckeyes have the best coach and the best player hands down. It’ll be interesting to have the discussion next year, when will their first loss together be?
Gary: Two things. I am thankful for being part of Buckeye Nation. This Nation has the best fans in all of college football. No one is more passionate than Buckeye fans. Second, I am thankful for a great football team that has fought through tremendous obstacles to become one of only two undefeated teams!
Eric: I must say that I am most thankful to have been able to participate on this blog for the last 4 years without having a drastic effect on my real life job. That it has enabled me to drastically improve my writing, improve my understanding of the sports I love, and participate in activities and events that I never thought possible a few short years ago. It may be the kind of activity that causes you to sit around for long hours of the day in your pajamas, but it is worth every anti-social minute.
I’m also thankful to have worked with some of the best sportswriters on the face of the earth here at the BBC. Each and every one of them has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The jokes shared, and the back and forth commentary and discussions we have both behind the scenes and in public are without a doubt some of the most enlightening, engaging, and entertaining I’ve ever had. Thanks guys. I hope to keep doing this with you for quite a bit longer.
Jason: Urban Meyer. Who knows where we would be and what the future would look like if anyone else had been given the job. With Urban we know the future is bright. I’m also thankful for 11-0 and the chance to be 12-0. I’d also like to thank the guys (and girls) here at the BBC for giving me a place to rant each week. Thanks!
JoeL: Jim Tressel putting this program back on the map. I am so excited for him to be back in the shoe on Saturday and I am sure many people have mixed feelings about it, but without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today, we were stumbling against tsun, we were in shambles academically, and he resurrected the program, and while it wasn’t the way we wanted to see him go out, he was able to turn a successful program over to another great coach that I am thankful to be here.
Mali: I’d echo everyone’s sentiments thus far, particularly the pleasure of getting to be a part of this great group of writers and fans. In addition, I’d say that I’m also continually amazed by and grateful for the folks who come by every day and join our party- readers, commentors, facebook friends, and members of the twitterati. We don’t do this without you.
The other thing I’m most thankful for, Buckeye related, is John Simon. And Nathan Williams. Etienne Sabino, Justin Boren, Reid Fragel, Orhian Johnson, Jake Stoneburner, Ben Buchanan, and ALL of Ohio State’s senior class. Their dedication to the program, their willingness to stay and lead after one of the most challenging seasons in the program’s history is something that is rare in the “what’s in it for me” culture in college sports, particularly knowing that there’d be no post-season for them. Here’s to hoping that their final game is the type of victory that they deserve.
This week, there’s only one song that will suffice for Buckeye Nation. Enjoy!
The “reveal” was a part of the Beat Blue rally in the Student Union on Monday night, and saw former Ohio State running back Raymont Harris taking the catwalk at the party. The biggest question is about the Buckeye leafs awards on the helmet- the jersey will have seven of them to commemorate the seven national titles, but it’s unlikely that the awards the players have won this season will make the helmet. That being said, the official Nike blog has a Buckeye sticker on the helmet, so there may be something in the works.
My take: I like these the most of the ones we’ve seen, although I wish they’d stop screwing around with the gear for Mich1gAAn week. But, the students like them, as do all of the recruits who will be in attendance... and that’s the target demographic.
“You’re taught at a very young age who the enemy is, but you have a lot respect for the enemy.”
He spoke fondly about this year’s senior class, and how he’s been impressed that they stuck around once the bowl ban was announced. He talked about the need to be ready for both Denard and Devin at quarterback on Saturday, and that there was more than likely a chance for something “interesting” to happen. On his own quarterback, Coach Meyer talks to him daily and reminds him that the goal is to be a QB that can run rather than a running back who throws the ball. “It’s a big week in Columbus Ohio”
SBP gets the ol’ bumperino this week to accommodate life. It happens, right?
Smith said multiple offenses by individual teams is a concern of his, especially if the violations committed are in relation to recruiting.
Smith was cited for breaking NCAA recruiting policy despite his distaste for recruiting infractions in particular.
“I intend to retire here as a Buckeye. You can never say never that you won’t do something else, but as far as athletic director or athletic administration, this is my last stop.”
I’m sure there are alumni and fans who have an opinion regarding that timeline.
Ok, you can place this squarely in the “You have got to be effing kidding me” files.
Ohio State today released information regarding 46 secondary NCAA violations across all of their athletic programs. Doug Lesmerises has the full scoop.
After a year and a half of “Oh NOES!!!!”, I actually appreciate this news for two reasons. First, it shows that the University continues to self monitor and self report even the most minor issues (see next point). This isn’t a program gone “rogue”, but one that’s trying to navigate as best as possible within the labyrinthine regulations of the No Clue At All.
Which brings me to the second point- These violations continue to prove how out of touch and often petty the NCAA can be. While certain entities are arguing for billion dollar playoffs coordinated by corrupt bowl “non-profits” with questionable benefits to the actual participants, the following are found to be against the rules (again, from Doug’s article):
- Football coach Urban Meyer said “Good luck,” to recruit Noah Spence before his state championship game in Pennsylvania in December. Contact like that with Spence, on his game day, is forbidden.
- Athletic director Gene Smith and alumni association CEO Archie Griffin recorded a personalized video for football recruit Ezekiel Elliott for his official campus visit on March 31. Recruiting videos are forbidden.
- Assistant football coach Mike Vrabel used smokeless tobacco on the sidelines during games, which was reported to Ohio State anonymously by an area health teacher. NCAA rules forbid tobacco use during games or practices.
- Greg Paulus, the basketball team’s video coordinator, was reported to be coaching players during the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Tournament semifinal win over Michigan on March 10. Video coordinators, who aren’t full assistants, may not coach players. The violation was discovered after a general conversation between an OSU player’s parent and an assistant athletic director.
- Last August, quality control football staffer Kirk Barton, a former OSU offensive lineman, created and ordered 20 “JT” bracelets for $5 each online to honor former coach Jim Tressel. He intended them for friends and family, but several players asked Barton about the bracelets. He sold seven players the bracelets for $15, charging that amount in an attempt to make sure no violation was committed, knowing that giving them out for free would be an NCAA violation. But selling them still was deemed a violation because players had access to something not available to the general public. The players returned the bracelets.
- Assistant coach Stan Drayton last July accidentally sent a text message to a recruit when he meant to send an email. Emails were permissible. Text messages were not.
- On Aug. 20, assistant coach Dick Tressel responded to a text message from the parents of recruit Warren Ball asking which gate to use to enter Ohio Stadium for a scrimmage. Texting the parents of a recruit was a violation.
- In December of 2010, five current football players took five recruits on OSU visits to a movie. NCAA rules allow each recruit $60 in spending money for entertainment. A cab ride to the movie put each recruit between $1 and $5 over budget, which the football players paid out of pocket. That was not allowed because the $60 limit was exceeded.
- The school realized that during three days of the football team’s Rose Bowl trip from Dec. 26, 2009, to Jan. 2, 2010, the players received both a $15 per diem and breakfast. That pushed them over the allowable three meals of $45 per diem.
While the Gene Smith one makes me particularly perplexed (in part because I can’t figure out what his job is, exactly), and I understand the importance of a program under the microscope to be above reproach… I still have to look at this and shake my head. This is what passes for compliance with an organization that has from the beginning often worked in opposition to the educational mission of member institutions and lack of regard for their key stakeholders.
And so, for the second time in a week I find myself referring to Scripture, this time from the twenty third chapter of the book of Matthew-
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Woe to you, teachers of the law… you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence… First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Bumped back a day to cover today’s press access- one more day means even more news, notes, and inanity.
There was no NCAA violation. If you could bold and underline that for me, please.
Done and done, coach.